Tea Pakistan 62 for 2 (Imam 17, Babar 2*, Ajaz 1-20, Henry 1-23) trail New Zealand 449 (Conway 122, Latham 71, Henry 68*, Blundell 51, Abrar 4-149, Naseem 3-71, Salman 3-75) by 387 runs
After putting on 104 runs for the tenth wicket for New Zealand, Matt Henry and Ajaz Patel picked up a wicket apiece to give the visitors the upper hand by tea against Pakistan on day two of the second Test in Karachi. The dismissals of Abdullah Shafique and Shan Masood mean Pakistan are 62 for 2, still 387 runs behind New Zealand’s 449.
Both Shafique and Masood were out trying to play aggressively. Shafique had struck four early boundaries to move to 19, but then tried pulling a rising short ball from Henry while taking his eyes off the delivery. He ended up hitting the shot high up, and to the only outfielder in the deep on the leg side.
Masood then produced a fluent beginning, hitting four fours in his first ten deliveries to race to 20. In fact, he had crunched three boundaries in a single Ajaz over before trying to search for a fourth when he sliced a half-tracker to the fielder at point.
That left Imam-ul-Haq and Babar Azam looking to start a Pakistan recovery with the hosts still 188 runs away from avoiding the follow-on.
Earlier in the day, both Henry (68) and Ajaz (35) put on their highest individual Test scores while also becoming only the fourth pair in Test history to post a 100+ partnership between a No. 10 and a No. 11. That lifted New Zealand from potentially folding for under 350 to eventually finishing at a run less than 450.
The two came together when New Zealand lost their ninth wicket with the score reading 345. However, Henry took on Abrar early with a four through midwicket before hammering Hasan Ali for four, four and six in consecutive deliveries.
The innings ended when Ajaz attempted to sweep an Abrar Ahmed googly, only to get a top-edge for slip to gobble up. It was Henry who was the more aggressive, smacking eight fours and two sixes in his 81-ball innings.
Ajaz was more circumspect, freeing his arms on rare occasions in his 78-ball stay. He hit three fours and looked quite comfortable on the whole, especially against the short-pitched bowling that Pakistan tested him – unsuccessfully – with.
Henry’s fifty came eight minutes after the scheduled lunch break, and the umpires extended play in the session since New Zealand were nine down. They still survived the session, and after lunch, added 16 before Abrar ended proceedings with his fourth wicket.
Before their entertaining final-wicket stand, it was Tom Blundell who started off strongly for New Zealand after they resumed day two on 309 for 6. After Ish Sodhi fell for 11 early, Blundell, in Tim Southee’s company, reached his ninth Test fifty. But Abrar dismissed Blundell for 51 and Southee for nine in quick succession before the Henry-Ajaz stand.
Naseem Shah was the most impressive of the bowlers, finishing with 3 for 71, an economy of 2.95. While Abrar took a four-for, he conceded 149 and Salman, who barely bowled in the first Test, took 3 for 75.